"Philip Guston's Late Work" / by Yu Cao


"I want to be complete again, as I was when I was a kid." pp.89

"What is believed to be boldness is only awkwardness. So liberty is really the impossibility of following the path which everyone takes and following the one your talents make you take."--Henri Matisse pp.88

edited by william corbett 

"Even as one travels in painting towards a state of 'unfreedom' where only certain things can happen, unaccountably the unknown and free must appear."

"Usually I am on a work for a long stretch, until a moment arrives when the air of the arbitrary vanishes, and the paint falls into positions that feel destined."

"I thinking the only pressing question in painting is: when are you through? For my own part it is when I know I've 'come out the other side.' This occasional and sudden awareness is the truest image for me. The clock-like path of this recognition suppresses a sense of victory; it is an ironic encounter and more of a mirror than a picture."

"I stay on a picture tunnel a time is reached when these paradise vanish and conscious choice doesn't exist."

"It is the bareness of drawing that I like. The act of drawing is what locates, suggests, discovers. At times it seems enough to draw, with the distractions of color and mass. Yet, it is an old ambition to make drawing and painting one."

"To will a new form is unacceptable, because will builds distortions. Desire, too, is incomplete and arbitrary. These strategies, however intimate they become, must especially be removed to clear the way for something else--a situation somewhat unclear, but which in retrospect becomes a very precise act ... There are twenty crucial minutes in the evolution of each of my  paintings. the more intensely subjective I become, but the more objective too. Your eyes gets sharper; you become continuously more and more critical. ... There is no measure I ca hold on to except this scant half-hour of making."

"It's a long, long preparation for a few moments of innocence."